President David Granger charged residents of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) to take responsibility for the prosperity and development of their villages, communities and region and ultimately the country. He noted that Lethem must fulfil its mission as a capital town by driving the development of the region through investments, infrastructure and information technology.The President, who spent Friday in the region meeting with regional officials, security forces and residents, urged them to become entrepreneurs and develop their villages and towns particularly in the areas of ‘green’ energy, tourism and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “When we speak about development we also speak about telecommunications and ‘green’ energy. Rupununi has the largest volume and hours of sunlight in the entire country. Let us turn Lethem green; ‘green’ energy must power our buildings, our ministries, our hospitals, our schools, our Police stations. Let us introduce more communication technology. Lethem must be a well-wired town. We can only improve communications if we adopt ICT much more quickly and seriously than we are doing,” the President is quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying.President Granger said Region Nine is the largest region in the country but much more has to be done to improve investment and infrastructural development, adding that his Government stands ready to work with regional and local Government to ensure the vast region reaches its potential. The town of Lethem, he said, is filled with foreign investors and while the country and Government welcomes this, Guyanese must themselves increase their own economic activity. The Head of State said Lethem needs increased economic activity to create jobs, generate wealth and reduce poverty and noted that investment can spur the that movement in the economy. “Guyana must be able to rely on all sections of society. We have to own the Rupununi. We are obstructing the development of this large region. We are hindering our own development. We must take collective leadership of this region,” the President said.To aid this development, however, President Granger said that proper infrastructure is a key element. “We need to look at infrastructure. We need to do more. We need to do better.We need to ensure that this region has better aerodrome, bridges, roadways. I see the region as being a place that can attract investment… Your region must have a better aerodrome; the best in all the regions, a world class aerodrome so people can fly legally from anywhere and land here, but the infrastructure must be improved. We have to move the Rupununi into the future and I am sure with the Town Council and the [Regional Democratic Council] RDC you would be able to move the town further down the road of development,” he said.Indigenous Peoples’ Affair Minister, Sydney Allicock echoed these sentiments, noting that while the region has tremendous potential, it is now up to the people to work to make that potential become a reality.